Highlights Arnold & Porter LLP
Spanning more than 65 years of practice in Washington, DC and having eight other offices in the US and Europe, Arnold & Porter LLP has earned broad respect across a wide range of industries and sectors as a preeminent international law firm. Our global reach and experience allow us to work across geographic, cultural, technological, and ideological borders, serving clients whose business needs require US, EU, or cross-border regulatory, litigation, and transactional services.’ And our award-winning pro bono tradition stretches back to the earliest days of our firm, and includes such notable cases as Gideon v. Wainwright, the 1963 case that affirmed the bedrock principle that everyone is entitled to a lawyer in a criminal case, regardless of the ability to pay. We were also the only major law firm in the United States willing to represent the victims of McCarthyism during the red-baiting of the 1950s. Today, the cases are different, but the principled commitment is the same.
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High Time at the High Court
Arnold & Porter continues to have a distinguished Appellate practice that’s been recognized on National Law Journal’s Appellate Hot List as one that has “amassed precedent-setting victories” in the US Supreme Court and the circuit courts of appeal and state appellate courts. In 2013, the firm again gained the NLJ’s attention for extending its “long tradition of high-profile pro bono work” by successfully leading a politically-charged fight to protect voter rights in Pennsylvania. For similar reasons, the NLJ included the head of the firm’s Appellate practice in its 2013 “100 Most Influential Lawyers” list.
Practice group head Lisa Blatt has argued 33 SCOTUS cases, prevailing in 32 – an unprecedented win record. The team also includes former Supreme Court law clerks and lawyers considered among the best in the country in appellate law.
Beyond the Supreme Court, our lawyers regularly appear in the federal courts of appeals and state appellate courts. Over the past year, for example, the firm represented parties in 41 appeals (prevailing in 19, 17 pending, five dismissals) in federal and state courts across the country.
The practice also made news outside the courtroom when appellate team member Anthony J. Franze’s novel The Last Justice, a legal thriller set in the high court, was published in 2012. The Legal Times said “Franze’s page-turner is downright respectful of the Court, scrupulously accurate in its details about the institution’s inner working. In a surprising way, the book reflects Franze’s admiration for the Court.”
Trusted for Antitrust/Competition
Our Antitrust/Competition practice is recognized worldwide for its breadth, depth, and record of excellence. The German-based JUVE Handbook in 2013 observed how the “top rated” competition practice based in the firm’s Brussels office “continues to have one of the most experienced and best connected teams of German lawyers on the ground.” Global Competition Review's "GCR Global Elite" 2014 ranked our practice as eighth worldwide. Chambers USA 2014 ranked us one of the top Antitrust practices in the nation, and awarded us the “Chambers Award for Excellence in Antitrust” in 2012.With credentials like this, it’s no wonder Arnold & Porter -- with more than 80 attorneys in the US and Europe -- is considered a go-to firm for the full range of antitrust and trade regulation matters. Among other things, Arnold & Porter represented Kroger Co. in its US$2.5 billion merger with Harris Teeter Supermarkets. The firm was also antitrust counsel for General Electric in its US$4.3 billion acquisition of the aviation business of Avio S.p.A. and counse for Intel Corporation in its US$7.7 billion purchase of McAfee.
To quote a client in Chambers and Partners: "This practice is in a league of its own: We particularly value its relationships with the regulatory agencies and have found it particularly reasonable and flexible with regard to its fees."
IP Around the Globe
The world’s leading companies turn to us when dealing with complex legal and public policy challenges to their IP rights around the globe. Our international practice addresses emerging issues in both new media law and the life sciences industry. We were named in 2012 to the National Law Journal’s inaugural Intellectual Property Hot List as one of 20 firms that “excel in providing patent, copyright and trademark legal services.”
In recent years, we’ve fortified our IP practice by adding nearly a dozen senior attorneys with substantial patent litigation and technology practices. The team is positioned to represent clients with an arsenal of technical and scientific knowledge in the information technology, software, hardware, medical device, pharmaceutical, and life sciences sectors.
For instance, Arnold & Porter achieved decisive victories in 2012 for Boston Scientific against Johnson & Johnson and its Cordis subsidiary in a series of major patent infringement cases relating to coronary stents. And, as lead counsel for a consortium of several major professional sports leagues, the firm successfully resolved disputes over the proper distribution of cable and satellite royalties for a six year period.
Nice Firms Finish First
Arnold & Porter's commitment to client service was most recently recognized in the BTI Client Service A-Team 2013 report, which ranked the firm's client service in the nation's top 20. FORTUNE magazine has included Arnold & Porter's name on its annual list of "100 Best Companies to Work For" eleven times. Other best-of lists Arnold & Porter frequents include The Human Rights Campaign's list of LGBT-friendly workplaces (with a perfect 100 rating in 2014), Working Mother's "100 Best Companies for Working Mothers, Yale Law Women Top 10 Family Friendly Law Firms, and Corporate Board Member’s “America’s Best Corporate Law Firms” Arnold & Porter has also received numerous awards for its diversity efforts from The Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA).
Arnold & Porter has enjoyed a progressive, family-friendly reputation that was greatly helped by the opening of the country's first in-firm child care center in 1995. With weekend and backup hours in addition to daily availability and a full-time preschool program, the center remains the "gold standard" of law firm child care.
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Corporate America is finally showing the Earth some love, and Arnold & Porter is joining in. The firm kicked off its Green Office Initiative in 2007, implementing a plan to reduce consumption of paper, energy and transportation firm-wide. Significant changes range from a switch to recycled paper for printing and copying (on printers set to double-side printing), as well as electronic holiday cards, to carbon offsets for business travel, to installing air pumps in employee parking lots (under-inflated tires, as Mario Andretti will tell you, are not only dangerous, but also hurt fuel economy). The driving force behind the Green Office Initiative is DC partner Jonathan Martel, who was previously at the Office of General Counsel of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and focuses his practice on Clean Air Act issues. For him, the key to making BigLaw environmentally friendly is "built on peer pressure." So, c'mon, everyone's doing it.
"Grades," begins one insider, before repeating "grades" twice more, just in case you didn't catch it the first time. A senior associate agrees that "the firm looks for candidates at the top of the class who are willing to work very hard." Adds a veteran associate, "We have very high standards, but nothing is a sure bet. The firm really values work experience when hiring associates." A midlevel notes that "like most large law firms, grades and law school are probably the two most important factors when considering a candidate for an on-campus interview and subsequent callback."
One junior associate details the selection process, “We are looking for sharp people who get along well with others." A corporate source asserts, "The firm is looking for people who have the ambition and potential to be great at what they do." One New York litigator admits the firm looks for "typical top schools; NYU, Georgetown, Columbia elites. Grades are important, but personality also factors in a lot." An insider agrees that "you have to have excellent grades and (usually) come from a top school, but that is not enough. This firm pays a lot of attention to fit, and I know countless people from my law school, many with better grades than me, who did not receive callbacks or offers." Indeed, agrees a corporate associate, "People with great paper credentials will not get hired if the firm's sense is that they would not fit in or that they are not nice. I mean it; we really care about `nice.'"
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Our Survey Says
"The office is very casual and there is not a great deal of hierarchy between levels of attorneys," begins one insider, before adding that "politically, the lawyers at the firm tend to be pretty liberal, but we have our conservatives, too. Most importantly, the large majority of lawyers I work with are just nice; a rare trait in this business." An observant newbie has noticed that "the firm is very conscious of maintaining work/life balance, promoting diversity/inclusion and being a 'good place to work.' This is reflected in the many committees, groups and initiatives, formal and informal, that speak to the needs of moms, minorities, women and social interests." One insider appreciates the "congenial" office, with "lots of even-keel people and very 'nice' personalities. Politics are generally center-left, but a surprising number of more conservative and Fed-Soc types who are just as respected and warm as everyone else."
A veteran characterizes "the firm culture as friendly and sociable," while another breathes a sigh of relief that "generally, associates work well together as a team. I have not experienced the intensive competition at this firm that I have known at other firms; here, associates are not out to get each other." Claims one insider, "There is an incredible spectrum of diverse personalities at the firm that makes the culture inclusive and interesting."
Says a Washington litigator, "We have a bar called the Garden Room that opens up at 6:00 every day. On Fridays, the place is packed with lawyers and a good place to catch up with friends." However, adds one insider, socialization occurs rather "infrequently outside of firm-sponsored events like these." Agrees one junior associate, "This is a liberal, laid-back culture in comparison to most other big law firms. Folks are friendly, but there is no pressure to socialize outside working hours."
Just Tell Me What You Want ...
"Arnold & Porter values its talent," asserts a midlevel, "and the firm is willing to be flexible to keep it." Adds one insider, "The firm offers real part-time work schedules, and actually respects your part-time hours." According to a tax attorney, "There is little emphasis on face time; as long as the work gets done and you're there for important meetings, partners don't mind when you're in the office or if you work remotely as needed."
One litigator dissents, "The firm claims to be flexible with hours, but I don't see how they possibly can be. When the work is there, you need to be there to do it." However, defends a corporate source, "The hours, billable and in-office, can vary greatly from week to week in any group." A detailed analysis from one insider: "Although working long hours is to be expected when working at any big firm, I feel I work fewer hours than attorneys at comparably sized law firms. Also, the firm doesn't put a lot of emphasis on face time as long as the assignments you have been given are completed diligently and on time." Agrees a junior associate, "The partner I work for has no problems with me working from home, which I often do at least once a week." A veteran associate clarifies that "people work hard, just like at other large firms. A&P is flexible with leave policies and face time is not necessary. People are given the freedom to get their work done on the schedule that works for them." One newbie appreciates that there is "no struggle to find work as a first-year, and reasonable demands on my time."
There is "some flexibility to leave earlier if you have children," notes a source, "but be prepared to have to log back in at night from home to make up the hours (to get the work done) and work as many hours as associates who are not parents." Indeed, one litigator admits to "coming in around 10 a.m. and leaving between 7 and 9. I also work from home once or twice every other week." One novice litigator knew this practice area "would of course lead to occasionally long days, but things have generally been pretty predictable about seven to eight hours a day in the office. I tend to work from home in the mornings via remote login, and it's never been a problem."
Freedom Of Choice
"It's hard to choose," begins an overwhelmed newbie. There is "great training available; sometimes too much!" A seasoned litigator agrees that "the firm provides training on so many levels, there's no excuse for not being well trained." One midlevel commends "the extensive commitment to professional development evident" through the firm's renowned training. A novice litigator appreciates that "nearly every day there is a training session going on somewhere in the firm," while one insider says that "we have so much training it is impossible to keep track of it, much less participate in all of it." And as if that's not enough, the firm will almost always pay for additional training outside the firm if some particular topic is not being offered in house. Each practice group has a partner who mentors associates' development and makes sure that everyone is getting the work experiences they need to grow."
Although veteran attorneys agree that "the firm has good training resources with excellent staff," litigators still feel the firm "needs to do better at communicating those resources to associates." Agrees one source, "There are information sessions on areas of law. However, there is no training with actual work assignments." A midlevel adds that "training is available, but fitting it in is tough, and IP training is something you have to go and get yourself." We're told that "the firm provides formal training, but programs are hit-or-miss when it comes to timeliness and practical utility." From a junior associate: "There's a formal training program in place. I can't say that all of the events are particularly useful, but they are there." However, looking toward the future, a banking source prizes the firm "for doing a good job in the last few years of offering more formal training options to associates."